As an Italian-Canadian Chrysler and Fiat CEO, Sergio Marchionne gets a tentative pass to say a handful of things non-Italian folk probably should not. He exercised his unique freedom of speech at a press conference this month while explaining why the Alfa Romeo 4C is taking longer than expected to lead the brand’s long-awaited return to the United States.
“I cannot come up with a schlock product, I just won't. I won't put an American engine into that car. With all due respect to my American friends, it needs to be a wop engine.”
The ‘W’ word, as Autoblogreports:
“Is a racial slur referring to Italians that is either an acronym for “with out papers” or a play on the word “guappo,” meaning thug or bully in Italian.”
Colorful language aside Marchionne was making an important clarification about Alfa Romeo’s impending return to America.
“The car is not where it needs to be,” he said referring to the 4C.
“This undertaking to bring Alfa back is a one-shot deal. We're not going to change our mind. We're not going to do it twice. We're not going to execute it poorly.”
The bar is set particularly high for the release of the 4C, not only because of the critical role it will play in bringing the automaker back to the U.S. but also because Alfa Romeo released a Facebook teaser recently touting it as “the car to end all cars.”
If a wo… Italian engine is what the 4C needs to live up to such a claim that’s fine by me.
“Alfa Romeo is coming. There's not a single doubt,” Marchionne said.
He didn’t say when, but at least we know what the holdup is now.